Student need feedback

Fox622003

Gold Member
Hello,
I'm 17years old and I'm currently studying music at college. I upload on my website a recent video of myself playing some ideas and concepts randomly. I would really appreciate your comments.

Here's the link: http://www.sebastienlachapelle.com/médias_eng.html

Ciao!
Your playing's alright and rather decently tight; in fact, you remind me a lot of myself in some aspects (even the setup, Gavin Harrison, anyone? I don't like 8" toms, though). One thing I don't particularly like is that you seem to be a bit lacking in ideas, as in a small vocabulary. I didn't hear much grouping in 3s, 5s and 7s (some in 3, like the displacing double pedal ostinato), you don't play much with ghost notes, to be honest, you don't really challenge the listener much rhythmically. Some faster double pedal would had made you look more technically proficient, too. The jazzy section didn't cut it for me, specially the way you repeated that Rll sticking fill several times, and it's just a cheesy fill, specially for jazz, and the sound doesn't help with the dynamics you were using, had it been more subtle, it would had fit much better. Your playing's fine, you are definitely on the right path, it was a bit boring for me to watch, however, and I didn't really see anything new or that I'd like to take for myself. I hope you don't get discouraged, these are (only) my thoughts exactly, nothing else. If you like Gavin's playing (as I said, you've got the same setup, so I'm just guessin'), you should check out more of his stuff (starting HERE - - full of fills and interesting rhythms), as those whacky things are what I felt lacking in this performance: You're playing alone after all, bring out the flash.


Fox.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Well, I enjoyed that very much. I think you have good skills, & in the context of an unstructured performance, some very nice playing. I agree with Fox, if that was intended as a solo performance, it lacked some variety, progression & overall structure. I certainly wish I'd had that skill level at your age. Would be nice to hear you playing in a band context. Making music is the ultimate end goal for me, & encompasses many more skills than just the mechanics of playing drums.

On a gear note, I did think your toms would benefit from more resonant heads. The pinstripes offered a really dead sound, especially the 8" (always difficult to get them sounding good). I have an almost identical size setup (always have), & I use G2's over G1's. Forget the playing here, I'm just noodlng & playing with tuning (G+'s in this case), but listen to the tom sound, especially the 8". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyWG-eCo2uc

Cheers, KIS.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
Overall, very good. Plenty of feedback on your ideas, etc. so I won't comment.

My immediate impression is that you could use a little work on your time. There were several places where your meter got pulled in various directions, especially during licks and fills, but also during groove sections. Generally there was an unsteadiness to the time, and I think rather than concentrating on expanding your vocabulary, I would spend some time getting the things you know under better control and polishing them up, learning how to put your ideas together without having your pulse get dragged willy-nilly.

For instance the section where you're moving from a duple-based groove to a triplet-based groove on the ride cymbal: there were points of hesitation and the overarching pulse wasn't solid. Generally, when you're moving from a duple to triple meter, your time is suffering slightly. That's simply a matter of working those transitions with a metronome or backing track. There was also shakiness in the time even when playing 8th notes on the ride or hats. Learn to economise your motions and try to make exactly the same motion/stroke for each note. If every stroke moves at an equal speed from an equal distance, in theory they should take the same amount of time.... Most importantly, listen carefully and learn to detect small fluctuations in your subdivisions. For this I recommend working very slowly with a click and singing the subdivisions as you play them.

In the jazz/swing section, I think you could work on the feel of your ride cymbal. Remember that - generally speaking - the underlying meter in jazz is the 8th-note triplet, so your swung notes in your ride pattern and in the comping on the snare and bass drum should fall somewhere on the triplet grid. Now, that's not strictly true, but it's a good way to start getting things feeling right and having a common denominator to your notes so there's a feeling of connectedness and forward motion. When you played the time on the hihats, the feel swung much more, and I think it's because you were adhering to a more strict triplet interpretation of the meter. See if you can transfer some of that to your playing on the ride cymbal.

I liked a lot of your ideas in the double kick section at around 8:00. Some nice stuff there. Needs cleaning up, though.

The linear/funk groove section really highlights what I'm talking about. The first half of your bars are fairly solid and on your 16th-note grid, but when you get to 3 and 4, the grid gets lost. Slow those grooves down and learn to count/sing each subdivision in the bar so you can hear the locomotion of a steady stream of 16ths underpinning your groove.

Overall, I can really see that you've worked very hard to be able to play certain ideas and fills (you like your hairtas!) and you've got them under your limbs for the most part. Now, I think you could concentrate on slowing everything down and getting the gunk out of the machine. Work on your time playing. Work on getting everything to groove, even your fills. They're all part of the time, too. Time, time, time, time... Make that your focus, in my opinion.
 
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sebob

Member
Thanks everyone! I'm sure all your comments will help me a lot.

Fox:
I really appreciate your constructive critics. I agree with everything that you've said execpt maybe where you talk about ghost notes. Maybe I misunderstood what you want to say, but I think there's relatively a lot of ghost notes inside, no? Maybe the audio don't render what I'm actually doing in terms of ghost.

You're guess is right, Gavin is an influence. I wish I could play like he does. The link you've post is awesome. Good taste!

KIS:
I'm glad you like. If you want to see me play in a context of a band, you can watch the second video of this page: http://www.sebastienlachapelle.com/médias_eng.html We were invited to a communal TV channel for an interview and performance. You can see us playing at the beginning and the end of the video.

I presently hate the heads I had on my toms, I really want to change them in a near futur. I'll probably check for G2, your video convince me.

Boomka:
I'm absolutely in agreement with the fact that my timing have a lot of issues. You have explain your points very well. I will seriously focus on that part of my playing.

And for the jazz, I'll continue to practice the Jim Chapin stuff. I think I didn't reach the jazz skills to improvise like I'have tried to do in this video.

Again thanks a lot, I'm sure you're feedback will be beneficial.
 

sebob

Member
What specifically do you wish to know? Feed back on exactly what questions.

When I know this I will be in a better position to help out.
You can feedback anything you think will help me in all aspects. If you can bring new comments that have not been said it will be nice like on the polyrhythm at 3:10 (well I think it's called polyrhythm).

You can also comment on the second video of the page I linked earlier where my band play (at the beginning and at the end). For this video it's the same thing, if you think something can be useful, it will be appreciate for sure.
 
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